Tag Archives: study

5 travel and tourism megatrends reflect the rise of new technologies, businesses and prospering nations

2019-03-14

Travel and tourism is already one of the largest, yet also one of the fastest growing global industries. It was estimated to account for about 10% of global GDP in 2017. Entire regions depend on the arrival of tourists, like Bali or Southern Portugal. Since the world is changing, travel is changing. Here are five megatrends that are shaping the way the world travels in the near future.
Valencia, Spain, Europe. crowds at a fiesta.
The five megatrends have been identified by WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council) and Bloomberg Media. WTTC is an organization that represents the Travel & Tourism private sector globally.

The travel and tourism megatrends 2019 according to the WTTC report are as follows.

1. Reality, Enhanced

Anywhere, anytime connectivity that allows access to information, communities and services have led to an experience-driven world that only 20 years was pure science fiction.

Today, it is reality. For some people, it can be harsh reality that has gone a step too far. Digital detox and unplugging from social media, or from the internet altogether for awhile is a real option for stressed minds. New travel products and services can help people who experience anxiety because of their digital habits. It doesn’t have to mean a year on an isolated island, but a trek to a mountain, or a bicycle trip around Lake Geneva. Additionally, wellness and travel have a close relationship that both industries are rapidly developing.

2. Life, Restructured

Work, especially knowledge work, is expected to change dramatically in the near future. Not only because of artificial intelligence (AI), but because of the so called gig economy. People want to work remotely and it already has a big impact on life, commute and travel.

As much as 50% of the workforce in the US is expected to be freelancers by 2027. Many of them – not all – have skills that they can sell to clients while they are actually staying at home, or on the other side of the world. Digital nomads started the trend of traveling and working years ago. Now, both young adults and seasoned knowledge workers are trying the life of a connected nomad.

3. Data, Revolutionised

Automatic collection of data is familiar for all of us because of companies like Facebook and Google. They have been criticized for their collection and of archiving private data for business purposes. Internet of Things (IoT) technologies are connecting fridges, lamps, door bells and practically everything else to the network so that we can monitor and control our homes, police can monitor streets, and Facebook and Google everything.

Travel businesses and officials are also collecting private data from travelers. For businesses, it is a way of learning more about their customers and a way for governments to secure borders. The collection of data will increase – there is no stopping it. It is up to travel businesses to apply the rules of the Europe’s GDPR and respective laws in other regions that are already being prepared across the world.
selfie photograph takers at a viewing platform

4. Power, Redistributed

The economic power and demographic power is shifting to the East. Pretty quickly. China’s GDP is expected to overtake the US by late 2020s. But it is not only about China: also India, Brazil, Russia, Indonesia, Mexico and Turkey are forecasted to grow strongly and comprise 50% of global GDP within the next 30 years.

China has been identified in specific markets, such as in Rovaniemi, Lapland years ago as the number one priority. Years ago, Nordic airline Finnair positioned itself as the hub between Asia and Europe. Today, everyone who has traveled in popular destinations in Europe recently has witnessed large groups of Chinese selfie-takers at all key sights.

5. Consumption, Reimagined

Years of talk of tourism causing pollution and breaking sensitive ecosystems has led to initiatives like sustainable tourism and ethical travel. Some travelers even try to compensate their air miles by reducing their carbon footprint by other means. This is an opportunity for travel businesses that can offer nature-friendly products.

Overtourism – although not discussed in the report – is a serious concern for regions that are getting so many travelers that their way of life and identity are at risk. Venice and Barcelona are examples of cities that are already finding ways to balance the needs of locals and travelers.

The WTTC report concludes that

– Tomorrow’s traveller is not the same as a traveler today. More personalization, enrichment of experiences and autonomy will be required in travel products and services.
– Travel businesses are going to have to deliver authentic experiences to tourists. Some of the experiences are likely to be enhanced by technology, like AR (augmented reality).
– Travel industry will capitalise on new trends, business models and technologies. Businesses that don’t adopt will be left behind. An example is electric vehicles that can assist both locals and visitors to move around in urban environment easily and without polluting the air.

Is reading on an e-reader considered screen time?

2019-02-25

Many parents restrict the time their children (or parents themselves) can access phones, tablets or any electronic devices with a screen. But what about an ereader? Kindle, Kobo, Nook or another device that is designed for reading ebooks has a screen. The difference is that these products have a black-and-white display that doesn’t emit light (unless the optional front light is turned on). Let’s find out what science says about screen time and ereaders.
e-reader on top of paper book stack in sunshine
References to studies that indicate the bright color screens of phones, tablets and computers (LCD and LED technology that emit light) are harmful to the eyes frequently circulate on the internet, just like studies that prove they are not harmful at all. Which is correct? Well, let’s look at the big picture first.

Does your back ache if you sit in a same position through your work day? Do your feet hurt if you stand your entire work shift? Yes, they probably do ache. The same applies to eye muscles. The key is to take breaks from an activity, and give muscles a rest every once in awhile.

Optometrists recommend taking a break

North American Optometrists believe that the essential method to avoid eye strain is to take breaks and let eyes rest – independent of the media used for reading. You may read paper books, ebooks on an ereader or on a tablet – it really doesn’t matter – as long as you take a break every 20 minutes. Optometrists remind that reading a printed book in dim light causes eye strain, as well as a screen that is too bright.
digital nomad working at a terrace near fruit farms of Murcia

This is the fastest medium for learning

Some people like printed books, others like ebooks. If you ask which one is better for reading and learning, answers vary.

Scientists have studied the reading speed on paper, E ink (e-ereader) screen and LCD (tablet) screen. The research paper LCD vs. E-ink: An Analysis of the Reading Behavior concludes that there are no significant differences in reading speed and reading behavior between paper, ereader and tablet. This is after readers have become familiar with their new devices.

“As we know from earlier studies the reading process
when reading on an e-ink-reader is very similar to the
reading process when reading a classic paper book
(Siegenthaler et al., 2011). Since the results in the present
study show that reading on a tablet is not worse than
reading on an e-ink-reader we can conclude that reading
on a tablet is under artificial light conditions not worse
than reading on a classic paper book.”

blue sky and clouds

Eyeglasses with blue light filter

Blue light emitted by color screens has made many people worry because some studies claim it can cause serious diseases, whereas other studies argue blue light can be a cure for high blood pressure and other conditions.

A balanced approach by a number of scientists, however, emphasizes that blue light has always existed, and we have always been affected by it. Look at the blue sky. Natural sleep cycle, and getting enough sleep is the key thing instead of panicking because of the effects of blue light.

If you are offered new reading eyeglasses with a blue light filter (like I was recently), think twice.

The answer

No, reading on an ereader doesn’t have to be counted as screen time – if the device is used for reading. Pay attention to the light so that the screen gets enough light. Take a brief break every 20 minutes for the eyes.

If the screen time restrictions concern social media, YouTube, Instagram, and messaging, most ereaders are fine, because they are running on proprietary software where you can’t install additional apps. Some new ereaders, however, are running on Android software, and it is possible to download applications from Google Play Store on those devices.

Is it still a library after books have been moved to a warehouse?

2019-02-17

Libraries are at a crossroads. In many countries, especially in Europe, Asia and Middle East, new massive libraries are being built. Often, they are architectural wonders that are designed to store as many books as possible. In the US, however, some libraries, like Georgia Tech and Bexar County want to get rid of paper books. They focus on ebooks and other digital material. Let’s take a look at Georgia Tech’s library that has been transformed into a new type of reading and learning space.
Georgia Tech Library, large windows in open space
The library Crosland Tower at Georgia Tech College campus in Atlanta was built for books in 1968. The large library building is eight stories tall, and because excessive sunlight is harmful to paper, the south side of the tower didn’t have windows at all.

Library management realized that books, journals and other media required by students and personnel was rapidly turning digital – and that’s what people wanted to borrow. In 2016, the Georgia Tech Library was closed for a full renovation.
Emory book storage site. Photo by Emory Photo.   Book storage site.

The objective of the renovation project was to move 95% of the library books (about one million copies) to a warehouse, and allocate space for students where they can study, for multimedia labs, and for collaboration projects. The south side wall was replaced with large windows, and tables, chairs and sofas were brought in.

Students still can borrow library books – if they want to wait a while. The request to borrow a print book is sent from the library to the storage site located five miles away from campus. The book is fetched from the warehouse shelves and delivered to the library.

In addition to creating a comfortable space where students and college personnel can read, study and collaborate, the reason behind the radical transformation of the library was digital media.
CHanging library by Georgia Tech LibraryGeorgia Tech Library.

In 2017, Georgia Tech Library owned 909 730 printed books.
At the same time, the library had a collection of 1.01 million ebooks and electronic journals.
In 2017, 4.12 million ebooks and digital articles were checked out from the library.
During the same year, 21,892 printed books were borrowed from the library.

Georgia Tech Library has seen the future, and it is digital – even for an institution that originally was created to store physical products.

Is it still a library? Yes, Georgia Tech Library is a library – a modern one that welcomes people to learn inside its walls.
Georgia Tech Library, city view
Georgia Tech Library, study space.
Via Business Insider.

Photos by Georgia Tech Library.

Travel safely: here are the safest countries in the world

2016-07-28

If you are planning to travel to Europe, but are concerned about the recent news on violence conducted by a radical group in some countries, an extensive study on the safety status of the world’s countries convinces that Europe still is the safest continent to travel. The thing with Europe is that although it is not as large as North America or Australia, it is divided into many countries that have different cultures, economic situations, politics and external relations. All this affects to the stability, and internal and external threats.

iceland scenery by moyan brenn on flickr

Iceland scenery by Moyan Brenn on flickr.

The Institute for Economics and Peace has published an annual report: the Global Peace Index. The Index is a measure of global peacefulness. It gauges on-going domestic and international conflict, safety and security in society, and the degree of militarisation in 163 countries and territories. The report takes into account 23 indicators in order to tally the Index. You can download the whole extensive report here. Here a the highlights from the report.

Europe was once again ranked the most peaceful region in the world. The largest improvement in safety since last year occurred in Central America and the Caribbean, while South America also made progress in its levels of peacefulness. Middle East and Africa had the largest safety decline, followed by Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and Asia Pacific respectively.

Top 40: the safest countries in the world according to the tenth edition of the Global Peace Index (the number after each country is its calculated safety index):

1 Iceland 1.192
2 Denmark 1.246
3 Austria 1.278
4 New Zealand 1.287
5 Portugal 1.356
6 Czech Republic 1.360
7 Switzerland 1.370
8 Canada 1.388
9 Japan 1.395
10 Slovenia 1.408
11 Finland 1.429
12 Ireland 1.433
13 Bhutan 1.445
14 Sweden 1.461
15 Australia 1.465
16 Germany 1.486
17 Norway 1.500
18 Belgium 1.528
19 Hungary 1.534
20 Singapore 1.535
21 Netherlands 1.541
22 Poland 1.557
23 Mauritius 1.559
24 Slovakia 1.603
25 Spain 1.604
26 Croatia 1.633
27 Chile 1.635
28 Botswana 1.639
29 Bulgaria 1.646
30 Malaysia 1.648
31 Romania 1.649
32 Latvia 1.680
33 Costa Rica 1.699
34 Qatar 1.716
35 Uruguay 1.726
36 Estonia 1.732
37 Lithuania 1.735
38 Madagascar 1.763
39 Italy 1.774
40 Zambia 1.783

A map shows the peaceful regions of the world for vacation-goers and digital nomads who are planning their next destination.

peace index map by Institute for Economics and Peace

Peace Index map by Institute for Economics and Peace. Dark green: very high state of peace, turquoise: high, sand: medium, red: very low.

Research: Tablets Have a Positive Impact on Studies

2015-02-12

A few years ago, the University of Illinois conducted an experiment that was doomed to fail. University students received Apple iPad tablets with instructions to use them for their studies. The students didn’t get any other instructions, tools, or support. Yet, the experiment was a success.
Apple ipad tablet benefits studying
The experiment was conducted in 2011, but reported in late 2014. Every student of the Master of Science program received an iPad from the school. Students were only told that they were supposed to use the tablets to study more effectively. No restrictions or locks were installed in tablets by the university. The university didn’t have any educational IT system integrated with tablets, but intranet was available just like for PCs.

The survey participants were 22—43 old students of the same Master of Science program.

Illinois University, tablet study

The key conclusions in the report are as follows.
1. Students increased their communication with the lecturers and fellow students. The use of email, searching information from the intranet and downloading study material increased as well.

2. Tablets replaced pen and paper as the primary note taking method for majority of students. Assignments that required writing were still carried out on a laptop computer.

3. The students regarded tablets complementary to PCs.

When the experiment ended, 80% of the students said they have no problems with on-screen reading, and they rarely print material.